Opening May 6th from 4 – 6 PM
Welcome to Kachemak Bay’s moveable feast that attracts migrating birds to stop over as they make their annual journeys along flyways that stretch from wintering areas along the Pacific Rim northward to Western, Interior, and Arctic Alaska.
May 6th will be the opening of a month-long special Shorebird Festival exhibit “A Moveable Feast” at the Pratt Museum and Park that celebrates Kachemak Bay as a place for migrating birds to rest and refuel. From 4 pm-6 pm, get a closer look at birds from the museum’s natural history collection and bird art at this free First Friday reception. There will be supplies on hand to make drawings and then your work will be added to this exhibit! Posters and information will be available about local bird research and citizen science opportunities. You can also tour the Museum to view other local birds on display as well as go birding on the Pratt Museum and Park trails. Museum hours during the Festival will be Wednesday through Sunday, 11 AM – 4 PM and the Park trails are always open.
It’s a place to rest and refuel, replenishing the fat stores required for migration and breeding. Although many migrants feed on what is available year-round like mussel beds in the intertidal zone, the migration of others is made possible by the massive bloom of plankton in the ocean and the growth of nutritious aquatic plant shoots as day length increases in the spring. Seaducks and seabirds feed on the abundant zooplankton and on small fish that are fattening up on the bounty. The pulse of migrating
birds also provides a spring feast for bald eagles, other raptors, and owls. The twice-daily tidal cycles in Kachemak Bay provide a smaller-scale moveable feast on tidal flats and
rocky beaches that are covered and uncovered, altering access to marine invertebrates and aquatic plants at the water’s edge or in shallow waters. Shorebirds probe the mud-filled with burrowing worms and clams. Ducks follow the rising tide, dabbling, and diving. Waterbirds, like loons, grebes, sea ducks, and seabirds, are superbly adapted for diving deeper after plankton, mollusks, and small fish.
As the birds move through the air and watery places, they’re a resplendent feast for our human eyes. As we pay attention to and mind the birds, we can feast on the intricate and dynamic ecological connections they make manifest.
The exhibit also showcases artwork by the late George West, a long-time Board member of the Pratt Museum, and the featured Shorebird Festival Artist
on its 25th anniversary in 2017. His pioneering work monitoring shorebird use of Homer area habitats is also featured in one of the posters about the continuation of this work as a Kachemak Bay Birders citizen science project.